Protecting your feet in the kitchen

If I’m in my house, I don’t usually wear shoes. This is fine if I’m sitting at my desk, but it’s not so great when it comes time to make a meal in the kitchen. I’ve started to realize that to avoid spills, slips, and back pain I need to change this behavior.

My first thought is to keep a pair of rubber soled Dansko clogs near the entrance to the kitchen:

These shoes are commonly worn by chefs in professional kitchens and nurses who spend a lot of time on their feet. I had a pair of them when I was a teacher and wore them most every day. They would certainly help.

The idea of having “kitchen shoes” is a little funny to me, though, so I’ve also been exploring getting an Imprint brand Anti-Fatigue Comfort Mat for the kitchen floor. I would wear shoes I already own, but have the added comfort of a gel mat under my feet.

Do you do anything like this in your kitchen? I’m interested in reading what you do — if anything at all — to protect your feet while you cook.

14 comments posted

  1. Posted by Lisa - 03/15/2011

    I don’t -but I have thought about it. But I think I like the clogs idea better. Not only helps with cushioning the hard floor underneath, it also helps when things fall. I know that I have dropped knives, large jars and random pots and pans over time. But then, I am known for hurting myself while cooking – they won’t let me peel any more… :0)

  2. Posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown - 03/15/2011

    Yes you should have comfortable footwear for anti-fatigue but also for protection! I’ve dropped knives, steak forks as well as boiling water and hot tea on the floor and on my feet!
    That’s not to mention the broken glass that seems to accumulate when you have kids and a ceramic kitchen floor!

  3. Posted by Terri - 03/15/2011

    I definitely wear comfy shoes in the kitchen. Once I was cooking barefoot (it was summer) and there was a full garbage bag on the floor waiting to be taken out… I stepped on it, just the edge of it, and sliced open my toe! Probably with a can lid. It would NOT stop bleeding until it was stitched up in the ER! (good thing my husband was home to drive me there!)

  4. Posted by Joan - 03/15/2011

    I use three different mats in the kitchen — one each in front of the stove, sink, and counter where I work most.

    The only problem is our dogs like to lounge there while I’m cooking so there is always a pet underfoot.

    As for shoes, the old ugly Crocs are great for wearing while cooking, especially the orthopedic models.

  5. Posted by Julie - 03/15/2011

    I have ceramic tile throughout the first floor of our house and it’s pretty tough on feet, so I have taken to wearing a pair of slip on crocs anytime, including while cooking. I have an ordinary kitchen rug with a rubber base and between that and the crocs I am comfortable enough for however long it takes me to cook a meal.

  6. Posted by infmom - 03/15/2011

    Whoa, the price tags… $$$$$$$ !

    I wear either FitFlop clogs or Old Friend slippers, depending on my mood. We used to have a nice rag rug from Ikea in front of the sink (because my husband is an incorrigible water-dropper) but the cat saw it as a satellite cat box and we had to throw the rug away.

  7. Posted by Living the Balanced Life - 03/15/2011

    I can’t go barefooted due to foot problems, and I can’t just wear flat slippers, they have to have support. I have bought something similar to crocs, but cheaper. My feet are cold 8 months out of the year so mine are furry inside. I do have a pair of old skecher orthopedic sandals for the warmer months. Keeps the bottom of my feet safe anyway! If someone drops something, I can always say, move away, I can take care of it!
    Those mats may be neat but I think they would just end up dirty in my house! 2 big dogs!

  8. Posted by Gillian - 03/15/2011

    Funny, I feel I’m at one end of the scale. It’s shoes all the time, generally my indoor runners/joggers which I use with elastic laces so they’re pull-on. I’m very uncomfortable if I switch to slippers so it rarely happens, and I don’t go barefoot for more than about 10 minutes.

  9. Posted by Cristy - 03/16/2011

    Your house! Your kitchen! Your feet!
    If you can’t wiggle your toes and feel the “earth” in your kitchen, what’s left? Kick off those shoes at the front door, and trust what God put on the ends of your legs. Slide around your kitchen in your fuzzy wool socks. Need traction? Leather moccasins… vibram’s 5 fingers…
    Free the Tootsies!
    (Boiling water, knives… just be careful. You’ll be okay. You don’t wear leather gloves on your hands to cook…)

  10. Posted by Stephanie - 03/16/2011

    I gotta go with Cristy on this one… I don’t like to wear shoes when I don’t have to! I realize I have to be extra careful, but I much prefer to be barefoot all over the house, including the kitchen. The only exception is when I’m taking on a big project, like canning, where I’m going to be standing mostly in one spot for a really long time. Then I wear shoes. :-)

  11. Posted by Catherine M Paull - 03/16/2011

    I use the gel mats in the kitchen and I ADORE them. I can’t imagine doing the morning kitchen work without these gel mats to comfort my feet. I wear Dansko clogs almost daily in my work (and I’m not even on my feet all that much). I’ve worn the same pair for 6 years and they still look good and feel great. These are the only shoes I can wear all day, everyday without feeling discomfort in one way or another. If I was a serious cook, I’d definitely do both Danskos and gel mats. There’s a reason that chefs wear these shoes!

  12. Posted by Amanda - 03/16/2011

    I agree with Christy and Stephanie. I go barefoot mostly in my house. I do have Crocs that I use as slippers, so if I have to run out to the mailbox, car or to take out the trash no need to put on shoes.

  13. Posted by JJ - 03/16/2011

    I don’t find slippers to be comfortable, so I have a pair of sneakers that are my ‘slippers’. I wear them all the time in the house, so they are already on my feet when I’m cooking.

  14. Posted by ninakk - 03/17/2011

    The only reason for keeping a little carpet in the kitchen is to protect the floor (wood), but other than that I’ve never had any accidents happen and I’d never wear shoes indoors if I don’t have to. If the floor was hard, I’d consider one of those gel mats; they seem pretty nifty.

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